Apps discovered this week


It is too early to say whether this is going to become a recurring post, since my App Store shopping is pretty erratic, but this week has brought a few interesting findings, and I wanted to share them with you. Make sure you read the accompanying articles for more information. In no particular order:



Discovered thanks to this article by GigaOm: Why Random is developing an irrational browsing experience

Using Random is like browsing the Web by pressing a ‘shuffle’ button, or like searching the Web by always choosing I’m Feeling Lucky in Google. In the image above you can see a screenshot of earlier today when I opened Random on my iPad. By tapping any of those topics, I’m randomly directed to an article about it. If you’re not interested in any of the topics proposed, you tap on the unlabelled area and Random refreshes the categories. Also, the more you use Random, the more it learns your browsing habits, and the less the exploring feels random. From the GigaOm article:

So, for example, if the user clicks on the keyword “Apple” the system can return suitable articles based on whether the user is already demonstrably a tech or a fruit fan. “We haven’t told the system what the apple means in this specific context, but the system figures it out for itself,” Koponen said.

Incidentally, Random doesn’t require any login via a social account – its use is completely anonymous.

At first I thought it was just a nice experiment, but I have to admit it’s rather addictive, and you may end up discovering interesting resources. I like it.

Random is free. Download it from the App Store (iTunes link)


Discovered thanks to this article by The Next Web: Tresorit opens its end-to-end encrypted file-sharing service to the public

Tresorit is an end-to-end encrypted cloud storage service. Imagine something that works in a similar way as Dropbox, but it’s more secure. You sign up (there are various plans, starting from a free basic account with 5GB up to 16GB of storage), download the Mac app (or Windows app), and start putting stuff on the cloud. Then you can sync that stuff with your iOS or Android devices by installing the mobile app.

One particular feature of Tresorit I like, besides the end-to-end encryption, is that you don’t necessarily have to store in a particular folder all the documents/folders you want to secure in the cloud, like with Dropbox. With Tresorit, you just drag the folders you want to secure into the Tresorit app. No need to reorganise things inside a special folder. The folder(s) will be marked as secure ‘Tresors’ in the Finder and voilà.

This is not all that Tresorit has to offer. Head over to its website and take a look around, starting from the features. It’s all explained in a clear, straightforward manner.

das Referenz

das Referenz comparison

Discovered thanks to this article by Fast Company: Wikipedia App Inspired By 109-Year-Old Encyclopedia

If you frequently look up things in Wikipedia, just download this app. If you resort to Wikipedia every now and then, just download this app. I think it’s really beautiful, well designed, with a great typography and layout. It makes reading Wikipedia a pleasure. In my case, it also managed to keep me hooked on Wikipedia for a good 40 minutes straight.

From the Fast Company article:

Yet the neatest thing about Das Referenz may not be its classic take on information, but its future-forward approach to Wikipedia. Some pages are smart enough to actually integrate and render information from the information repository Wikidata — pasting images such as timelines into relevant Wikipedia articles — which even Wikipedia itself doesn’t do yet. This particular integration is fairly basic right now. It’s basically just when a few people lived and died–on a timeline. And pages that support the feature are few and far between. But given that Wikidata has all sorts of information ripe for visualization — such as geolocations, sport statistics, and box office revenues — it’s great to see developers running with the idea, even if Wikipedia itself isn’t quite yet.

das Referenz is free with ads, and you can remove the ads with a $2.99/€2.69 in-app purchase. If you really want to support the developers, there’s also a $4.99/€4.49 in-app purchase that removes the ads and boosts your Karma:

Settings and Karma

And this is a screenshot from my iPad in portrait orientation, in case you want to see how ads look like. I don’t find them exceedingly intrusive, but you’ll be the judge of that. I chose to pay and remove them anyway because I want to show my support.

Wikipedia entry and ads

The Author

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